In this episode, we feature the book Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School. We speak with the authors Dr. Farina King, Dr. Michael P. Taylor, and Dr. James Swensen, who share their thoughts and experiences from working on the book and with the Diné (Navajo) people.
Returning Home works to recover the lived experiences of Native American boarding school students through creative works, student oral histories, and scholarly collaboration. The book reveals a longing for cultural connection and demonstrates cultural resilience. Despite the initial Intermountain Indian School agenda to send Diné students away and permanently relocate them elsewhere, Diné student artists and writers returned home through their creative works by evoking senses of Diné Bikéyah (Navajo land) and the kinship that defined home for them.
You can order the book through the University of Arizona Press at https://uapress.arizona.edu/book/returning-home.
Here are some recent related stories:
Sierra Alvarez, “No More Silence: Boarding School Survivor Anita Yellowhair Shares Her Story, Over 60 Years Later,” Cronkite News, May 8, 2023.
Jon Reed's article, "Native activists hope for probe of Utah boarding school," AP, August 14, 2021.
"‘Some Lost Their Lives, Some Found Their Lives’: Remembering The Intermountain Indian School," KUER 90.1, August 6, 2021.